We have so far (summer 2014) put a few hundred miles on these here Big Bens. They ride smooth, unexpectedly fast, and cushy on the road, with just enough off-road grip on my favorite East Bay trails -- if the conditions are right and the PSI is sensibly low (30-35 PSI.) It's too early to say definitively, but they also seem to be wearing as well as tough Schwalbes usually do. Maybe don't expect them to grip like a full knobby if the trails are too muddy or too dusty. Otherwise, Big Ben seems like a winner.
It’s a Schwalbe, so you know it’s stout and good, and it comes in the widths we like. But the main thing is the tread. It’s a roughier version of the Big Apple tread, with deeper lugs with grainier tops. When we got the samples, we were all agog, because we all had the same ridiculous reaction: This tire is Perfect. It’s obviously the Perfect tire. Why do we even sell anything else?
We sell other tires because we got ‘em. Certain tires are better for certain things. It is hard to beat a Jack Brown for an all-around road-only tire (and Mark rides it off-road, too). We expect there to be a shortage, not because everybody’s going to start buying these all of a sudden, but because Schwalbe sometimes runs out of the tires we stock.
The 26" x 2.15" actually measure about 52.5 mm on a 21mm rim (see pic below). The real measurement of 700c x 50 BB is about 45 mm.
We're selling the following sizes of Big Ben:
Schwalbe Big Ben, RaceGuard Performance line, wire bead, HS439 - 26 x 2.15 (55-559) - 10127 - 760g, 30-50 psi
Schwalbe Big Ben, KevlarGuard Active line, wire bead, HS439 650B x 48 (50-584, 27.5x2) B/B - 10122 tire - 835g, 35-70 psi